Martin Guptill released from New Zealand central contract

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    New Zealand’s veteran opening batter Martin Guptill is the latest Kiwi cricketer to opt-out of a central contract by New Zealand Cricket, following in the footsteps of Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme. The decision comes in the aftermath of his omission from the recently concluded T20I series against India.

    Martin Guptill has been one of the stars for the Blackcaps in the limited-overs format over the last decade and is the country’s leading run-scorer in T20Is. However, the emergence of young dashing batter Finn Allen has reduced the veteran opener to the sidelines. 

    The 36-year-old, despite the release from the central contract, is still committed to playing for New Zealand but will be looking to explore other opportunities as well. Guptill is reportedly set to feature in the next edition of the BBL.

    “Playing for my country has been a massive honor, and I’m grateful to everyone within the Blackcaps and NZC for their support. But, equally, I’m realistic enough to understand the need to consider my options in the current circumstances. With this release, I’m still available for New Zealand, I have the chance to explore other opportunities, and I also get to spend more time with my family – which is important,” Guptill said in a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) statement on Wednesday.

    He leaves his contract with our best wishes: NZC chief executive

    NZC chief executive David White praised the veteran batter for his exceptional contributions and services to the national team. He stated that the board would not hinder his desire to explore other opportunities outside New Zealand. The flamboyant batter is the third-highest run-getter in the 50-over format for the Kiwis, and his  237* remains the second-highest individual score in ODI cricket. 

    “We understand Martin’s position. He’s been a fantastic batsman for us for a long period of time, and we certainly don’t wish to stand in his way as he explores other opportunities. Martin’s been a giant of the white ball game, a committed and well-respected member of the Blackcaps, and has earned the right to play out his career on his own terms. He leaves his contract with our best wishes,” NZC chief executive David White said in an official statement.

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